Special Report

What It Costs to Retire in Every State

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26. Montana
> Est. total retirement spending: $998,983 (16th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 6.5% less than avg. (25th lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $445 (19th lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 19.5% (6th highest)

Due in large part to a relatively low cost of living, retirement is relatively affordable in Montana. The average 65 year old in the state will spend an estimated $998,983 to retire comfortably, about $121,400 less than the typical 65 year old American.

A relatively large share of Montana’s population are 65 or older. Of the 1.1 million people living in the state, 19.5% are retirement age, compared to 16.5% of the U.S. population.

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27. Nebraska
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,002,765 (19th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 10.5% less than avg. (15th lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $532 (17th highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 16.1% (15th lowest)

The average 65 year old living in Nebraska can expect to spend a total of $1,002,765 to retire comfortably — about $117,600 less than the typical American. Life expectancy at age 65 in Nebraska is in line with the national average, and the lower retirement costs in the state are attributable entirely to a lower than average cost of living.

Goods and services are 10.5% cheaper in Nebraska than they are on average nationwide. As a result, the average annual expenditure of retirement-age state residents is about $5,300 less than it is across the U.S.

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28. Nevada
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,063,152 (25th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 2.6% less than avg. (20th highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $430 (18th lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 16.2% (17th lowest)

A comfortable retirement costs an average of $1,063,152 in Nevada, about $57,300 less than it does on average across the U.S. In Nevada, lower than average retirement costs are attributable to a lower than average cost of living.

The average American age 65 and older spends about $50,200 annually. Adjusting for the state’s relatively low cost of living, this amount is only $48,914 in Nevada.

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29. New Hampshire
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,180,933 (10th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 6.5% more than avg. (8th highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $821 (3rd highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 18.6% (9th highest)

The Northeast is a relatively expensive part of the country. In New Hampshire, a comfortable retirement will cost the average 65 year old an estimated $1,180,933, about $60,500 more than it would cost the typical 65 year old American.

Goods and services are 6.5% more expensive in New Hampshire than they are on average nationwide. As a result, the average annual expenditure of retirement-age state residents is about $3,300 more than it is across the U.S.

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30. New Jersey
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,359,968 (4th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 16.0% more than avg. (4th highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $1017 (the highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 16.6% (21st lowest)

New Jersey is the second most expensive state in the Northeast to retire and the fourth most expensive nationwide. The average 65 year old in the Garden State will spend an estimated $1,359,968 to live comfortably throughout retirement, about $240,000 more than the typical 65 year old American.

A long life expectancy partially explains the higher costs, as the typical 65 year old New Jersey resident lives a year longer, on average, than the typical 65 year old American. The most consequential factor, however, is the state’s high cost of living. Goods and services in New Jersey are 16% more expensive than the average nationwide.